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tv   ABC World News Now  ABC  March 24, 2010 3:05am-4:30am EDT

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under the new practice visions, pat would have saved over $1,500. >> this is very important, both for the pocketbook of seniors, because the drugs are expensive and getting more expensive every year -- >> i may get to california with these new provisions, to visit one of my children. turning overseas to an escalating dispute between two of the nation's closest allies, britain and israel. >> britain took an extraordinary step yesterday by expelling an israeli diplomat. for the reason why we're joined by sonia gallego in london. >> reporter: good morning, jeremy, vinita. tough words from the uk government yesterday demonstrated just how deep the disappointment ran over israel's misuse of british passports. and pointed to a new low in british/israeli relations. the uk's decision to expel an israeli diplomat over the forged british passports used by the group accused of murdering a senior hamas official in dubai sent a strong signal to israel that it was not prepared to
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tolerate the incident. addressing parliament yesterday, british foreign secretary david milliband hinted at the resentment caused over the affair. >> the government takes this matter extremely seriously. such misuse of british passports is intolerable. it presents a hazard for the safety of british nationals in the region. it also represents a profound disregard for the sovereignty of the united kingdom. >> reporter: the investigation by the uk organized crime agency found that the 12 forged british passports were copies of genuine documents that were handed over to israeli officials and used in the plot to kill mahmoud al mabhouh, the founder of hamas' military wing, and also implicated that israel's intelligence service, the mow sad, was involved. the incident has been yet another stumbling block in israeli relations with its allies and it comes at a particularly sensitive time as the country's premier, benjamin netanyahu, faces stern criticism
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from washington er its decision to continue building settlements in the largely arab section of west jerusalem. this is not the first time that britain has come down on israel for such an incident. back in 1987, the israeli government promised then it would not use uk passports in secret operations after eight british passports found in a phone booth in west germany, believed to be in use by israeli intelligence. well, we should be hearing something about possible changes in the military's ban on gays soon. jeff morrell told recorders yesterday defense secretary robert gates will have an announcement on the controversial issue by the end of the week. gates supports presint obama's call to repeal the 1993 law that bans gays from serving openly. up to 2 feet of snow across parts of colorado, northern new mexico, and western kansas. heavy rain in the plains and midwest. drenching dallas, kansas city,
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parts of iowa and illinois. gusty winds, hail and isolated tornados in oklahoma and texas. >> 69 in dallas. 49 in omaha. 50s in chicago and minneapolis. 60s in seattle, portland and boise. new york will get up to 59. atlanta 72. and miami 78. this is cool. a lean, mean riding machine that performs like it was custom-made for 007. >> only a man would think of this. >> look at that. >> he has taken -- like you said, it's like james bond after he rigged his mop with a pow unfortunately flame flower. moped. that doesn't look like a mop. the scooter fires flames 15 feet long. it's intended to be the ultimate road rage weapon. >> i could see that, that would work. turns out it is illegal in england, and most other places, to fire flames at other drivers so the investor says he's still having fun with it off the road. looked like he was on the road right there. looked pretty cool. whether it was on a mop or a
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moped, it would be pretty darn cool. >> the mop may not be as threatening though. we'll be right back with more "world news now." [ female announcer sometimes you need tomorrow
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to finish what you started today. for the aches and sleeplessness in between, there's new motrin pm. no other medicine, not even advil pm, is more effective for pain and sleeplessness. new motrin pm.
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the fda and members of congress discuss strict new rules today on tanning beds. they're proposing stiffer warnings about skin cancer. studies show only occasional use of tanning beds can triple your chances of melanoma. under the health care reform act anyone using a tanning bed will have to pay a 10% federal tax. people who turned healthy eating into obsession only to waste away may be diagnosed with a new disorder. >> it's called orthorexia. it's apparently on the rise and can be fatal. claire shipman reports on one who was diagnosed just in time. >> reporter: >> reporter: lunch. three years ago that word would have almost paralyzed christie. >> i stayed away from restaurants. it took me maybe two, three
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hours to even figure out what my next meal was going to be. >> reporter: she was obsessed with healthy eating, going from vegetarian to vegan to raw food, restricting more and more foods. she was so fiction sated she almost killed herself, shrinking her 120-pound frame in half. >> my parents told me that dr. king said, you need to prepare for her funeral, we're going to get a chaplain up to the hospital for her. >> reporter: they method you were going to die? >> reporter: but this wasn't classic anorexia, christie says. she says she suffered from something called orthorexia, an obsessive-compulsive disorder that creates phobias about eating unpure, unhealthy food. for you it was not about weight. >> not at all about weight. just i wanted my heart to be healthy, wanting my body to be healthy, wanting to make sure everything i put in me was pure and good for myself. >> reporter: it was a diagnosis she found online and it's one lighting up message boards and blogs alike.
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while there's some movement toward orthorexia being a separate diagnosis, most experts still think it's part are of anorexia. but they do see these symptoms of obsessing over healthy food on the rise. christie says it was like a mental prison. >> i think my lowest points were when i -- when i was afraid to hang out with people. afraid to have christmas with my family. >> reporter: and her doctors didn't seem to understand. >> it was like, you're eating healthy, just eat more of the good food that you're eating. >> reporter: but she had an epiphany at rock bottom and forced herself back to a normal existence. there are no specific treatments for orthorexia and those for anorexia weren't working. >> just step by step. just challenging myself saying, i used to eat this and i used to love it, why not do it again? >> reporter: christie worries others are at risk but doctors don't recognize these unique signs. >> they wanted to deal with all of the issues that came with the orthorexia. i'm afraid of this food and i
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don't want to get this disease. >> reporter: today those fears are gone. they'll indulge in most everything. christie's become an evangelist about her counter intuitive message, especially with her soon to be stepkids, alexis and liam. too much healthy can be a bad thing. >> moderation in all things. here's some more symptoms. eating the same foods prepared the same way over and over. lots of time spent in the grocery store obsessing over labels. social isolation, extreme weight loss, and basically refusing to t with friends and family. >> it's interesting because unlike normal anorexia where we think it's about body image, this is all about healthy. when we return the mysterious piano player who's an online sensation. >> his secret identity no longer a secret.
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mama told us not to talk to strachlgers so she is not going to like the latest internet phenomenon. >> chat roulette is the site that takes internet chat rooms to a whole new extremery logon with your computer and web cam and chat randomly with strangers. you get bored, click next. >> our abc news on campus reporter miles doran scored an exclusive interview with the mystery man. >> reporter: of all the people who use chat roulette there is one guy who's probably more mysterious than all the rest. i'd like to introduce you to chat roulette's piano man. ♪ >> reporter: wearing a disguise a man who serenades unsuspecting strangers via web cam. he comes up with lyrics on the fly. ♪ the dude in the white tank top
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leaning his head on his hands ♪ >> reporter: so he's no billy joel. ♪ semi italian looking just like his parents had plans ♪ >> reporter: but this piano man is youtube's latest hit. video of his chat roulette performance has received more five-sr ratings than any other, making it the highest-rated youtube video ever. >>. ♪ you guys have a thumbs-up situation over there ♪ >> reporter: so who is this guy? at first many suspected musician ben fultz. though they do look alike, both have denied it which means much is still a mystery. until now. sort of. we asked merton for an interview, and he agreed to talk to abc news only if we agreed to a few ground rules first. we can't reveal where he lives, who he works for, or his real name. oh, yeah, the hoodie stays on too. >> i'm not trying to create mystique to build up publicity or something.
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i'm not making my money off of anything. it's easier for my personal life. and i just think it's more fun for everybody. >> reporter: we do know he lives somewhere in the rocky mountains and works with computers. he taught himself how to play the piano when he was 9. but he is shy. so when he and a few friends tried chat roulette for the first time he had an idea. >> and i said, boy, you know, that might be a good venue for me. because i'm not a really comfortable performer in front of large audiences live. >> reporter: uploading video two weeks ago, it has been viewed more than 4 million times. by youtube standards that's pretty good. even ben fultz has paid tribute to his look-alike. that during a concert last weekend in north carolina, doning merton's trademarked hooded sweat shirt. >> it almost seems like some dream in which i wrote the incident for some crazy movie where i get the top video in the
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universe. >> reporter: merton says there's been a high demand for a second video and he wants all of his fans to know video number two is in the works and should be online in a couple of daze. >> we can't wait to see that one. >> yeah, really. >> no question this guy is obviously hugely talented. what's next for him? >> reporter: well, in addition to all the feedback that he's been getting he says that he's also received a few interesting offers. now, he wouldn't go into specifics about the details of these offers or what they involved in doing. but i think it's pretty clear that we have not seen the last of merton. >> he's also spawned copycats. i've been on chat roulette, there are people with guitars and pianos trying to replicate his success, none doing it quite as well, nobody getting homage paid to them by ben fultz in concert either. pretty cool stuff. our thanks to miles doran. >> if you want to share your favorite online video sites. >> that's right, go to
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wnnfans.com and post the link so we can take a look. basically, give us your good videos. maybe they'll be good enough for the show, who knows. >> hopefully. if you've taken your sleep aid and you're still fighting to sleep in the middle of the night, why would you go one more round using it ? you don't need a rematch-- but a re-think-- with lunesta. lunesta is different. it keys into receptors that support sleep, setting your sleep process in motion. lunesta helps you get the restful sleep you need. when taking lunesta, don't drive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake. waing, eating, driving or engaging in other activities while asleep without remembering it the next day have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations or confusion. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. alcohol may increase these risks. allergic reactions such as tongue or throat swelling occur rarely and may be fatal.
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side effects may include unpleasant taste, headache, dizziness and morning drowsiness. stop fighting with your sleep. get a free 7-night trial on-line and ask your doctor about switching to lunesta. discover a restful lunesta night. about switching to lunesta. assistance getting around their homes. there is a medicare benefit that may qualify you for a new power chair or scooter at little to no cost to you. stay tuned for this important medicare benefit information and free scooter guarantee. imagine... one scooter or power chair that could improve your may entitle you to pay little to nothing to own it. one company that can make it all happen ... your power chair will be paid in full. the scooter store. why should you call the scooter store today? because their mobility experts are also medicare experts. and that means the scooter store is your best shot at qualifying for a scooter that costs you little to nothing.
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hi i'm doug harrison. pay little to nothing out of pocket. how do we do it? we know what it takes to get you your power chair it's our strength. it's our mission. and we back it up with the scooter store guarantee. if we qualify you and medicare denies your claim for a new powerchair or scooter, i'll give it to you absolutely free. i paid into medicare all my life, and when i needed it the benefit was there for me. the scooter store made it so easy. i didn't pay a penny out of pocket for my power chair. the scooter store got me back out in the world again. talk to. there is a medicare benefit that may qualify you for a new power chair or scooter at little to no cost to you.
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"world news now" delivers your "morning papers." >> in this time of cut-backs and layoffs this story is pretty incredible. it basically involves a guy who solved a math problem that has stumped people for almost a century. he's offered a $1 million prize and he says, no, i don't want it. >> really? >> flat-out says, i don't want it. hes a russian and he describes himself as a reclusive russian math genius. basically they say he posted the winning solution on the internet in 2002, so a math mattics institute tracked him down. they get to his knodoor, knock ,
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says i want did give you this money, i have all i want. i don't want to be on display like an animal in a zoo. this is why i don't want to have everybody looking at me. >> to be honest with you he looks like the kind of guy who doesn't open the door for strangers. >> don't be mean. >> i'm not being mean. >> you are being mean. >> i'm just saying he looks like -- >> isn't that crazy? now the newest update is multiple people have come to him and said, you should take this money and other prizes. he's like, i don't want any of it. >> give to it me, i'll take it. >> willis, you're a math genius, you can solve some of these problems, get paid. >> oh, yeah. >> here's further evidence that if you just ask, the worst that can happen is that they can say no. so there's a kid from colorado, he's a big fan of mixed martial arts and he watches like the ultimate fighter or whatever, he sees this model on there all the time, she's also been in "maxim." he's like, i'm going to ask her to prom.
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what's the worst that could happen? so he goes on youtube, he makes this deep-hearted plea for this model, arianna celeste, to join him at prom. and she says yes. she said yeah. he thought it was pretty clever. it turns out that it was better than her own prom date back in '04, she says. they went to the big dance at dakota ridge high school and he ended up getting a kiss at the end of the night, he got her number, they're going to stay in touch. how about that. see, just ask. >> she didn't get paid anything. >> she didn't get paid anything at all, apparently. you know he was the envy. >> do you know how old she? >> she's 24. so she was the -- a bit of a cougar at dakota ridge there. he was the envy of the school. >> you've got to say that. get ready to meet smiley riley, the dog with the human grin. we have a lot of animal stories as you knowress when you see this dog you'll see why we picked it.
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isn't that cute? >> he is smiling. >> that's a bejohn freeze say. he can do a snobby look and a curious look. she says she doesn't think
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legal challenge. before the ink could dry on the historic health care reform legislation, republicans file lawsuits to repeal it. is the white house worried? plus, bad business. a banking executive reveals how financial institutions put the squeeze on the middle class. >> they get a complete run-around. and, prom princesses. one woman's generosity is helping underprivileged young ladies fulfill their dreams. it's wednesday, march 24th. >> from abc news, this is "world news now." >> that time of the year again
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where girls across the country are looking at those prom dresses and paying too much for them. >> they are expensive so this story talks about people who are helping out and making it more affordable. >> great story so stick around for that. good morning and thanks for being with us. i'm vinita nair. >> i'm jeremy bbard. one day after signing the historic health care bill into law, president obama shifts gears today. his next domestic priority, reforming the financial industry. >> yesterday at the white house it was a moment of victory to savor, especially given the bill's setback in the past year. the president said he was signing a bill for millions of americans who have no health insurance, and his own mother. >> we don't fall prey to fear. we are not a nation that does what's easy, that's not who we are. that's not how we got here. we are a nation that faces its challenges and accepts its responsibilities. we are a nation that does what is hard, what is necessary, what is right.
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it will take four years to implement fully many of these reforms. because we need to implement them responsibly. we need to get this right. but a host of desperatelneeded reforms will take effect right away. this year. >> here's a bit of trivia for you this morning. the president used 22 pens to sign the bill, giving away 19 to supporters, two to the archives, and keeping one of them for himself. >> the white house says it is not worried about the lawsuits being filed trying to overturn the new law but the suits underscore the battle that still rails over the reform. here's our john karl. >> reporter: just as the president prared to sign the bill, the republican national committee's fire nancy pelosi website surpassed $1 million raised since the bill passed sunday night. shortly after, sarah palin announced her target list. 17 house democrats who she'll try to defeat for voting yes on the health care bill. the political debate isn't over and neither is the vitriol. >> we need to defeat these bastards. we need to wipe them out.
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we need to chase them out of town. >> reporter: in arizona, the office of congresswoman gabrielle giffords was vandalized. she had been under fire for voting yes. then there's republican randy neugebauer. on sunday he yelled "baby killer" on the house floor. he apologized. yesterday he seemed proud of it in a fund-raising video. >> and i will continue to speak with the same passion that i spoke last night. >> reporter: as for the legal battle, attorneys general filed challenges to the law in 14 states, arguing congress has no constitutional power to require americans to buy insurance. all but one of the attorneys general are republican. >> i'm confident that the court is going to declare the new health reform law unconstitutional. >> reporter: the justice department vowed to vigorously defend the law and the white house says the legal challenges will go nowhere. >> my advice from counsel is that we'll win these lawsuits. >> reporter: for all the anger,
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in a new "usa today"/gallup poll, 49% said the new health care law is a good thing. that's still not a majority but democrats were ecstatic only 40% said it is a bad thing and say that republican efforts to repeal it will backfire. jonathan karl, abc news, capitol hill. israel's prime minister met twice with president obama at the white house. cameras caught benjamin netanyahu's arrival yesterday but reporters weren't allowed in for the customary greeting. followed by a break and then another 35-minute discussion. earlier netanyahu received a warm welcome on capitol hill. his visit has been overshadowed by israel's plan for new housing in jerusalem. britain has expelled an israeli diplomat for the first time in 20 years. it's in reaction to the use of forged british passports in the plot to kill a senior member of the palestinian group hamas. gloria riviera reports from london. >> reporter: in london the british foreign secretary
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accused israel of direct involvement in the murder of a hamas commander. 12 of the 27 members of the alleged hit squad that killed mahmoud al mabhouh in dubai in january carried forged british passports, stolen from dual british/israeli citizens. dubai authorities are pointing a more direct finger in the direction of mossad, israel's equivalent to the cia. >> we have concluded that there are compelling reasons to believe that israel was responsible for the misuse of the british passports. >> reporter: the uk expelled an israeli diplomat in protest. >> given that this was a very sophisticated operation in which high-quality forgeries were made, the government judges it is highly likely the forgeries were made by a state intelligence service. >> reporter: paul keeley's passport was stolen. british investigators found hit passport, like other with a copy of the authentic document inspected by israeli officials. the israeli ambassador expressed regret but stopped short of promising, as asked, that it won't happen again. israel contends there is no proof it was behind the
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killings. hamas is pushing britain to go farther. some israelis feel very differently. >> england is very famous for keeping the tradition. in this case, the tradition of hypocrisy. >> reporter: british/israeli relations have been strong in the past. israeli officials have not yet indicated whether they would take retaliatory action. for "world news now," gloria riviera, abc news. the u.s. has given some high-level support to mexico's drug war. secretary of state hillary clinton and several other cabinet secretaries were in mexico's capital yesterday. they acknowledged that america's appetite for drugs and u.s. firearms going to mexico were at the center of the problem. clinton also said the obama administration will soon unveil a new drug policy. china is blasting back at google's decision to shut down service in the country over censorship issues. the leading communist newspaper today accused google of colluding with u.s. spies. computer users in beijing found
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spotty service today. when they tried to logon. microsoft, google's biggest rival, says it will abide by the chinese censorship rules. a spring storm is dumping heavy snow across much of colorado. denver was covered by several inches yesterday. another foot is expected by this afternoon. suburbs to the west and south of the city could see up to 2 feet. drivers are facing treacherous roads with nearly zero visibility. this storm isn't rare, though. as you and i both well know, jeremy. march is actually the snowiest month of the year in colorado. >> these spring storms are all too familiar. in denver, true fashion, it's going to be 70 degrees again within the next week. that's how they roll. here's the rest of your weather forecast. that snow also pushes into northern new mexico and the western edge of kansas. heavy rain from des moines to kansas city and dallas, flooding, gusty winds, hail and a chance of tornados in oklahoma and texas. >> the pacific northwest climbs to near record highs in the mid
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60s. 50s in chicago, detroit, and the twin cities. 59 here in new york. 64 in baltimore. and 72 in atlanta. we talked a lot about super sizing our meals. apparently now we know this dates way back. art imitating life when it comes to super sizing. >> this is a really interesting story. >> look at that. >> what you might be noticing, two scholars say even the last supper has grown by biblical proportions over the last 1,000 years. they analyzed zens of well-known paintings depicting jesus' final meal with his disciples. what they found is that the size of the main course grew by 69%. even the plate size went up by 66%. >> by the year 2000, jesus and company were even eating 20% more bread. wow. >> carbo loading. >> they had a lot of work to do. load it up. >> we'll be right back with more "world news now." hotwire has special deals with hotels. when hotels have unsold rooms they use hotwire to fill them,
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so you get them at ridiculously low prices. like four stars in san francisco, hotwire hot rate from $85. so pick a city. then get a four-star hotel at a two-star price, ♪ h-o-t-w-i-r-e save big on car rentals too. from $13.95 a day. to finish what you started today. for the aches and sleeplessness in between, there's new motrin pm. no other medicine, not even advil pm, is more effective for pain and sleeplessness. new motrin pm. is more effective for pain and sleeplessness. assistance getting around their homes. there is a medicare benefit that may qualify you for a new power chair or scooter at little to no cost to you.
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stay tuned for this important medicare benefit information and free scooter guarantee. imagine... one scooter or power chair that could improve your may entitle you to pay little to nothing to own it. one company that can make it all happen ... your power chair will be paid in full. the scooter store. why should you call the scooter store today? because their mobility experts are also medicare experts. and that means the scooter store is your best shot at qualifying for a scooter that costs you little to nothing. hi i'm doug harrison. pay little to nothing out of pocket. how do we do it? we know what it takes to get you your power chair it's our strength. it's our mission. and we back it up with the scooter store guarantee. if we qualify you and medicare denies your claim for a new powerchair or scooter, i'll give it to you absolutely free. i paid into medicare all my life, and when i needed
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it the benefit was there for me. the scooter store made it so easy. i didn't pay a penny out of pocket for my power chair. the scooter store got me back out in the world again. talk to. there is a medicare benefit that may qualify you for a new power chair or scooter at little to no cost to you. president obama meets with
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congressional leaders today to get a status report on financial reform, and that meeting comes at a crucial time. >> our new poll shows 69% say banks owe it to the country to help struggling americans. as a whistle blower told abc's david muir, more than ever the banks seem to have an eye on profits. >> they should be held accountable -- >> reporter: thousands of you have reached out to us. >> haven't been able to recover. >> reporter: beside yourself with the banks after they promised following the taxpayer bailouthere would be help for homeowners simply trying to hold on to their homes. 6.5 million americans are late on their mortgages, a new record. and yet to date, how many of you have been helped? 168,000 have had their mortgages permanently modified in a federal program announced after the bailout. until now we have not heard from someone inside the bank. you worked at the bank for 20 years. >> yes, that's correct. >> reporter: this vice president at one of the biggest banks asked that we not show his face.
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we changed his voice. he is aware of the thousands who have e-mailed us like jay and leann gibbon. both lost their jobs, begging their bank for six months to modify their mortgage, yet nothing. >> you know, we're raised to do the right thing and -- you know, we're treated like a number. >> what about all this talk from washington that after the bailout, the major banks would help home owners? >> it's just not happening. >> reporter: his bank alone holds tens of millions in deposits. in the last year, how many loan modifications have you seen in your particular bank? >> completed? fully completed? zero. >> reporter: and he says it's no accident, that run-around you're getting at the bank. revealing what he says he's been told by higher-ups, that when customers ask for mortgage help -- >> have them call the 1-800 number. >> what happens when these customers call the 1-800 number? >> they get the complete run-around. >> reporter: then loyal customers come back to him. >> there have been pleadings,
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come to me crying, tears. >> reporter: mortgages, he says, are just the tip of the iceberg. angered by what he considers exploding penalties and fees. the top four banks pulling in more than $40 billion in fees in just a year. he says he won't forget what happened to one customer. >> i seen $1.40 escalate to over $1,000 in overdraft fees. >> how this is possible? >> it snowballs. >> reporter: to get those fees he says bank employees are pushed to sign up customers for as many accounts, as many cards as possible. the more cards you hold, the more fees they collect. he says some employees, so pressured to sign you up for more, they've actually taken your information home with them. >> your social security number home, your check atm number home, your p.i.n. number home, sign you up for home banking. >> have you seen it in yr own bank? >> on multiple occasions. i've seen customers over a four-month period have 10 to 20 checking accounts open and close.
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>> reporter: he says he's tried to stop the cycle. if your bosses knew you were telling some of these customers, you really don't need that account, you don't need this financial product? >> as a vice president of the bank, i would be terminated. >> reporter: he says he can't get those customers, like that couple from georgia, out of his mind. >> i don't see how the middle class is going to survive. >> i'm in the middle of this disaster. and no one's listening at the top and no one's listening to the customer. >> definitely seems like the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. you know, the bailouts were well-intentioned it seemed at the time, yet there are so many people who are still not benefiting from them. and these fees are so out of control with this credit card reform. now a whole new set of fees ve kicked in. yeah, the banks have to notify you beforehand but they can hike your interest rates without any regard. >> it seems like no matter what we do we always seem to be on the losing end of any kind of
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reform. we'll return to our top stor
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yeah, that was vice president joe biden whispering some colorful, salty, unrepeatable language in the president's ear. on a memorable occasioat the white house. >> the vice president introduced the president at the health care reform bill signing ceremony. >> the invited guests and president obama's remarks, and biden's, made it an historic day. >> today, after almost a century of trying, today after over a year of debate, today after all the votes have been tallied, health insurance reform becomes law in the united states of america. today, i'm signing this reform bill into law on behalf of my mother. who argued with insurance companies even as she battled
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cancer in her final days. i'm signing it for ryan smith who's here today. he runs a small business with five employees. he's trying to do the right thing, paying half the costs of coverage for his workers. this bill will help him afford that coverage. i'm signing it for 11-year-old marcellus owens, who's also here. marcellus lost his mom to an illness. and she didn't have insurance. and couldn't afford the care that she needed. so in her memory, he has told her story across america so that no other children have to go through what his family's experienced. i'm signing this bill for all the leaders who took up this cause through the generations. from teddy roosevelt to franklin roosevelt. from harry truman to lyndon johnson.
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from bill and hillary clinton to one of the deans who's been fighting this so long, john dingell. to senator ted kennedy. and it's fitting that ted's widow vicki is here. it's fitting that teddy's widow vicki is here and his niece, caroline, his son patrick, whose vote helped make this reform a reality. i remember seeing ted walk through that door in a summit in this room a year ago, one of his last public appearances. and it was hard for him to make it.
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but he was confident that we would do the right thing. we are a nation that faces its challenges and accepts its responsibilities. we are a nation that does what is hard, what is necessary, what is right. here in thisountry, we shape our own destiny. that is what we do. that is who we are. that is what makes us the united states of america. and we have now just enshrined, as soon as i sign this bill, a core principle. that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care. and it is an extraordinary achievement that has happened because of all of you and all the advocates all across the country. so thank you. may god bless the united states of america. >> starting tomorrow the president will start crisscrossing the nation, essentially explaining all of the benefits to people who may not necessarily understand it.
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it was funny, the moment when biden dropped the f-bomb, immediately people started tweeting. press secretary robert gibbs said, yes, mr. vice president, you're right, after he dropped the f-bomb. and you're still fighting to sleep in the middle of the night, why would you go one more round using it ? you don't need a rematch-- but a re-think-- with lunesta. lunesta is different. it keys into receptors that support sleep, setting your sleep process in motion. lunesta helps you get the restful sleep you need. when taking lunesta, don't drive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake. walking, eating, driving or engaging in other activities while asleep without remembering it the next day have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations or confusion. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. alcohol may increase these risks. allergic reactions such as tongue or throat swelling occur rarely and may be fatal.
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as with all medicare supplement plans, you can keep your own doctor and hospital that accepts # medicare, call this toll-free number now. finally this half hour, it that is time of year when high school students are preparing for prom night, a ght to remember. >> and their parents are dealing with the expense provided they can afford it. steve osunsami reports on a generous woman making prom dreams come true. >> reporter: the girls have come from group homes and foster care families from across the state of georgia to this rented dance studio north of atlanta. >> like cinderella. >> reporter: like every girl
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here, 17-year-old shaquela came looking for the perfect dress for her first prom. and she found it. >> beautiful. >> thank you, i like it. >> i do too. >> reporter: 18-year-old carrie had a bit more trouble finding hers. how many dresses did you try on? >> like ten. >> reporter: the dresses were donated. thousands of them for hundreds of girls. all collected by a foster care mother who saw a huge need. rachel ewall has opened her heart and home to more than 50 foster care children over the years. she says that every one of these girls has been through rough times and should be made to feel special for at least a day. >> there's no money in foster care for prom. and that's why this is a good way to do that. they look like princesses and they feel like princesses. why shouldn't they? everybody should feel like a princess for one day. >> reporter: nicki benson says without the free dresses she couldn't afford to send her two teenage foster children to this year's prom. >> basically having like the extra help is always good because it's always something, they always need something. >> reporter: 15-year-old crystal says most girls take this moment
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for granted but not her. >> when i got in foster care, i wasn't expecting to go to prom. and it's like i'm going. i'm approximate about to cry, i'm so happy. >> reporter: gay holt is her fifth foster care mother in two and a half years. >> she looks so pretty in that. i could just cry. it's like she's getting married. she's just going to the prom. >> reporter: 18-year-old tracy is wheelchair-bound and says all the attention here is overwhelming. >> i feel like i'm on top of the world. i've never felt this way before. >> so you want these young girls to, five years from now, look back on today and say what? >> that was fun. ♪ you're beautiful >> reporter: it was as if the music were already playing. ♪ you're beautiful you're beautiful you're beautiful it's true ♪ >> reporter: steve osunsami, abc news, roswell, georgia. >> they all look great. what a great cause too.
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it can be so expensive and this is a real way for them to feel like a princess for one day at least. >> i donated my dresses after prom but i don't know that anybod
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fixing the bill. the senate takes a crack at the new health care legislation as president obama prepares to hit the road to explain the law to skeptics. plus, a new study shows cesarean births are at an all-time high in america. what's to blame? and, pay-back. a woman takes her husband's mistress to court and wins a $9 million settlement. but on what grounds? it's wednesday, march 24th. >> from abc news, this is "world news now." >> that's sort of a dream story. i'm sure a lot of women out there have thought, i'd love to sue the mistress.
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>> i guess it helps if the mistress is wealthy. right? >> right. >> if you're -- >> you don't want an iou on $9 million. >> she was a poor person, you better shop in a different price range. we'll take a look at that story coming up. good morning, i'm jeremy hubbard. >> i'm vinita nair. republicans are hoping the courts and floor of the senate will help them repeal the health care reform bill just signed into law. >> the president begins his job of selling the plan to the american people later this week. a new gallup poll shows 49% say the new law is a good thing. john hendren joins us this morning from washington. good morning, john. >> reporter: good morning, jeremy and vinita. the senate is already debating changes to it. republicans are campaigning against it. but president obama's health care reform plan is now in effect. >> we are done. >> reporter: with a pen stroke, health care reform became the law of the land. >> i'm signing this reform bill
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into law on behalf of my mother. who argued with insurance companies even as she battled cancer in her final days. >> reporter: it was the culmination of a reform plan then-candidate obama introduced three years ago. >> every american has the right to affordable health care. >> yes, we can! >> reporter: the celebration seemed more like a campaign rally. >> yes, he did. >> let us always remember the lesson of is day and the lesson of history. we don't fear the future, we shape the future. >> reporter: the new law set off a republican backlash, including a repeal effort -- >> i think the slogan will be, repeal and replace. >> reporter: plans for payback in november -- >> we need to defeat these bastards. we need to wipe them out. >> reporter: and a legal assault. 14 states challenged reform in court, arguing congress has no constitutional power to require americans to buy insurance. >> my advice from counsel is that we'll win these. we'll win these lawsuits. >> reporter: it was a big deal,
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as vice president joe biden, apparently carried away by the moment, reminded the president. >> this is a big [ muted ] deal. >> reporter: words better suited for the locker room than the east room. he campaigned for the plan, now he's campaigning for the law. on thursday, president obama heads to iowa city where he first promised health care reform three years ago. jeremy and vinita? >> thanks to john hendren. what do those on the front line of health care think about the new law? ctorut wlikeis spoke to some wy feost. >> reporter: in michigan dr. lee green, a primary care physician, was seeing patients in his office and telling us how having millions more people covered by health insurance will help front line doctors like him prevent more serious illnesses down the line. >> there are a lot of folks out there who will be coming in more regularly, they'll be able to come see me, and i'll be able to provide care for them early. >> reporter: meanwhile, in atlanta, dr. wendy wright was checking in on a patient who's just had a brain procedure and telling us she's worried that with so much demand about to come for health care, the government will have to cut back on how much it pays out for the kind of high-priced, super-specialized care that she provides.
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>> people will die. and these are the people that i have to face every day and i'm going to have to be the one to tell their families, i'm sorry, i'm not allowed to do that for your child. >> i think that's very unlikely. i really don't see any likelihood of people who need acute care getting any less of it. >> reporter: what the doctors do agree on is that with millions of newly insured people flooding into the system in roughly four years, there is now a critical race on to begin the lengthy process of training an entire generation of new primary care doctors right away. there's already a shortage because young doctors often op for higher prestige, higher paid specialties. look what happened in massachusetts when they passed health care reform. new patients now wait 44 days to see a primary care physician. that's the longest wait time in the country. the new federal law does try to encourage doctors to go into primary care by giving them some bonuses and helping with student loans. is that enough to get more people into primary care? >> no. it's a beginning. but this is really just a
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fraction of what is needed. >> reporter: that doctor says what's needed now is a national manhattan project-style operation to recruit new primary care doctors. he says it's been done before, in the 1950s, facing a shortage of doctors. congress funded new medical schools, effectively doubling the numbers of doctors in this country. dan harris, abc news, new york. in alabama, the university professor suspected of murdering three colleagues last month has made her first court appearance. amy bishop wore a red prison jumpsuit in court. she was denied bail and the murder case against her was sent to a grand jury. it was also disclosed the gun used in the shooting spree was purchased for her husband back in 1989. more health news to report. the number of births taking place by cesarean section are at an all-time high. nearly one-third of all deliveries are done by c-section. as sharon ol uponsy reports, that high number is both surprising and concerning. >> reporter: it's another busy day for dr. jacques moritz.
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what's the day look like for you? c-sections versus regular births? >> c-sections 2-1. >> reporter: the rate of c-sections is at an all-time high. now, the most common operation in american hospitals. >> before, we didn't have all these machines that looked at every single beating heart. now we act, as soon as the heart rate goes down, we end up intervening. >> reporter: add to that more multiple births, bigger babies, heavier and older mothers that often require c-sections. but surprisingly, the greatest increase is in women under age 25. how much of this is fear of lawsuits? >> well, i think for that 20-year-old group it's the only reason i can explain, because they're relatively low-risk. >> reporter: still, c-sections come with their own serious risks. as we first reported on this broadcast, mothers are more likely to get dangerous blood clots and babies are more likely to have breathing complications. even so, many doctors report women are asking for c-sections because it's more convenient.
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doctors say that too posh to push crowd is just another factor pushing c-section rates to record levels. sharon alfonsi, abc news, new york. >> sort of an interesting sign of the times story. >> it is. here's a look at your wednesday weather. heavy snow in colorado. up to 1 foot in denver. even more in surrounding areas. rain in illinois, iowa, missouri, and kansas. also in texas and oklahoma where there ll be hail and gusty winds. windy in the northeast with morning showers along the coast of maine. >> 50 in boston. 59 in new york city today. 70s in atlanta, miami, and new orleans. 54 in kansas city. 49 in fargo. and near record high of 65 in seattle today. and 75 down in phoenix. belongings of the world's most famous boy king are returning to new york for the first time in more than 30 years. >> to mark the upcoming king tut exhibit, a 25 foot tall statue of the mythical god anubis
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arrived by barge yesterday. imagine seeing that float by in new york city. he was greeted by schoolchildren in egyptian headdresses and former new york mayor ed koch, who was in office in 1979 back when the first exhibit came to town. >> the king tut exhibit opens to the public in a month. >> not the strangest thing you've seen in new york city. >> might catch your eye. >> yeah, it would. we'll be right back.
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cynthia mcfadden records on the fraud in an abc news investigation. >> reporter: federal agents brian piper and omar perez are on the trail of some of the most elusive and richest criminals in the u.s. part of the special strike force in south florida. what can you see? >> locked. >> well, it's closed. >> reporter: this is supposed to be a working pharmacy. >> iavmore than this in my medicine cabinet at home. i mean, i'm not kidding. >> i know, this is just to maintain the illusion this is a legitimate company. anyone here? >> reporter: though chances are it never sold so much as an aspirin. like so many other fraudulent companies they allegedly billed medicare $1 million in two months, pocketed the money, and ran. >> okay, we found some stuff. >> this is cash. right here. >> this is actually somebody's name, their medicare number, their address, their phone number, and this person may not even know they were being
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billed. >> reporter: here's what law enforcement says happens. a fraudster bought the pharmacy for just $45,000. along with its medicare license and its entire patient database. so with relatively low risk and little investment -- one person sitting at this terminal for two months can submit $1 million worth of claims? >> you don't have to hire anyone. if you buy an existing company, like has happened here, you come in, one person can come in at night, midnight, submit the claims, you never have to open the business. >> reporter: in two months' time, for an investment of a few hours, a million bucks? >> it's that easy. >> reporter: it's that easy because in 99.9% of the cases, medicare auto adjudicates claims within 30 days. >> that means if you check the right boxes and fill out the right forms, you're going to get paid. >> what's your plan? >> reporter: until recently kirk
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grossty was a federal prosecutor at department of justice, in charge of prosecuting all criminal medicare fraud. >> criminals can take these forms and fill them out better and more complete than actual health care providers. so real hospitals and doctors who are struggling every day to keep up with the paperwork, their formsometimes miss things. >> reporter: medicare makes life very easy for criminals. unlike credit card companies that stop payment the second a suspicious charge is made, we learned medicare is slow to respond. even when people call to tell them about fraud. what did you notice in your bill? >> thousands of dollars for treatments that i didn't even know what they were, actually. i think it turned out it was for diabetes but i don't know, all kinds of medications listed. >> reporter: but you don't have diabetes? >> nothing like that at all, no. and i called medicare. >> reporter: what did they say? >> what kind of question? am i sure that i didn't have it done? >> reporter: paula teller spent
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three years trying to convince medica that fraudulent charges were being made using her medicare number. when you total up all the phoney claims made under your medicare, how much? >> i would say approximately close to $50,000. >> reporter: you didn't have to come down here and talk to us. why did you come? >> i'm tired of this going on, i want it to stop, i want to sock it to them. >> reporter: sock it to all those criminals. often former drug dealers and car thieves who get rich, very rich, buying expensive toys from helicopters to sports cars and race horses. all funded by easy to execute scams. so, this is a secret facility that we're in right now? >> it is. >> reporter: and what we see here are file after file after file. what are all these? >> thesere cases that we have ongoing. >> reporter: south florida is ground zero for medicare fraud. jeffrey sloman is the u.s. attorney here. how much fraudulent money do you expect is represented in these boxes? >> i think that conservatively,
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we're talking about way over $1 billion. probably in the neighborhood of $2 billion. we could probably employ every single lawyer in my office, 270 lawyers, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and still not solve the health care fraud problem in south florida. >> reporter: so what's the problem? >> the problem is that medicare was designed to reimburse providers quickly, with no questions asked. from my standpoint, relatively simple fixes can be instituted and aren't, then something's terribly wrong. >> reporter: there is a lot of agreement about that. president obama said stopping such fraud would help fund his ambitious health care plan. >> yes, we're going after the waste, the fraud, the abuse in medicare. >> reporter: the administration says they'll save $25 billion over the next 10 years. sounds like a lot. until you realize at the rate things are going, in the same ten years, $1 trillion could
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easily be stolen. >> yeah, definitely seems like they can't wait ten years to address this issue. >> yes, time is ticking. when we return, the end of a three-year-long celebrity love affair. and yeah baby, austin powers at it again.
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okay. >> good morning. it is time for "the skinny." we start "the skinny" this morning with sad news. another breakup of a hollywood couple. >> it's sad for reggie, not for the rest of mankind. >> that's right.
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jeremy just told you, it is the end zone for kim kardashian and reggie bush. they are ending their near three-year relationship. originally when they broke up in 2009 it was due to conflicting schedules. now they're saying it's kardashian's notoriety and her hectic agenda is to blame. now the funny thing is, she's got this crazy schedule but people are saying reggie, whether you want to say he's dealing with the breakup by partying or partying towards the end of the relationship, there are a lot of people saying he's been spotted out with friends in new york while she has been shooting this show that her sisters do in south beach. in case you're wondering they say a reunion is not out of the -- >> out of the question? >> it is out of the question. >> it seems like he can't deal with sharing the spotlight. when she got too big too fast -- >> after seeing the wedding of the sister, i think another point of contention is the age difference. she's 29, he's 25. i think they're probably in different places in their life and she is looking toward the
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future. >> maybe. >> and he is 25. >> she's beautiful. >> she is. >> flawless. does she make you randy? >> yeah, baby! yeah, baby! >> apparently not. >> he's not listening. she makes a lot of people randy. that's for sure. mike myers may be making us all randy again at the big screen. there could be a new austin powers movie on the way. it's been awhile, right? it's been 2002 since the last one. jay roach who directed the austin powers movies is saying they are working on a fourth one right now. mike myers is putting together some ideas for it. we don't know much about it except it will go somewhere that you haven't thought of, apparently, is what they're saying. we don't know anything else about it but it will go somewhere you haven't thought of. i'm guessing it will go somewhere horribly distasteful. >> the ly >> yes. ferths so that bad-teethed brit may be coming soon to a screen near you.
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>> yeah, baby! >> there he is one more time. we're finally hearing from the reps of sandra bullock and jesse james after all these allegations of infidelity on his part. both reps are setting theecor they're saying neitra r je loo they say the errors that she has moved out of the family home are false. and that she's not laying low like a lot of people are saying, in fact, she's been dining with producers to discuss an upcoming project where they say the entire report "is another piece of fiction." it's interesting, though, they don't necessarily say anything about the alleged affair with the michelle magee, the woman he has reportedly had this 11-month affair with. >> right. she hey may not be laying low but we certainly haven't seen the two of them together >> did you really see that much of them togetherbefe >> i didn't pay too much attention. everybody's keep an eye out. sarah pg neah pg there could be an announcement within days a deal atiosed with discovery
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discovery channel basically edged out a&e for this sarah palin alaska show. this is the show that mark burnett's going to produce. >> right, right. >> basically it's her actin n o her asking price allegedly $1.2 million, if that's true, per tv.sode, would make it the most- if you've taken your sleep aid
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and you're still fighting to sleep in the middle of the night, why would you go one more round using it ? you don't need a rematch-- but a re-think-- with lunesta. lunesta is different. it keys into receptors that support sleep, setting your sleep process in motion. lunesta helps you get the restful sleep you need. when taking lunesta, don'trive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake. walking, eating, driving or engaging in other activities while asleep without remembering it the next day have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations or confusion. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. alcohol may increase these risks. allergic reactions such as tongue or throat swelling occur rarely and may be fatal.
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side effects may include unpleasant taste, headache, dizziness and morning drowsiness. stop fighting with your sleep. get a free 7-night trial on-line and ask your doctor about switching to lunesta. discover a restful lunesta night. here are some stories to watch today on abc news. president obama gets a status report from members of congress today on financial reform. he also signs an executive order restricting the use of federal money for abortions. secretary of state hillary clinton, who is just back from mexico, meets with pakistani leaders in washington today. pakistan wants the u.s. to back its decision to become a nuclear power. congressional leaders discuss google's dispute with the chinese government. google shut down its chinese internet search engine. google is accusing the chinese government of censorship. finally this half hour, infidelity could really cost tiger woods if it ends in
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vorce. consider the case of a north carolina couple. >> the woman sued her husband' mistress and won a $9 million court settlement. here's diana alvear. >> reporter: his her husband's affair may have cost cynthia her marriage but revenge has been rewarding. a north carolina jury awarded her $9 million. not from her husband, from the woman he cheated with, ann lundqvist, seen here. on this website. >> she knew we were married. >> reporter: speaking on "good morning amera," shackleford said she felt compelled to sue because lundqvist embarked on a scheme to seduce and steal her husband alan. north carolina is one of seven states that allows for this kind of lawsuit. >> the main defense is that the couple had an unhappy marriage. you can't destroy a marriage, a third party can't, if the couple was miserable in the first place. >> rorter: in fact, that's what shackleford's husband told a local paper, that he'd been unfaithful on multiple occasions. >> i had absolutely no knowledge
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of any of his other affairs. we had a great marriage. >> reporter: lundqvist told abc news it would be inappropriate for me to comment further on the facts and circumstances of the case at this time. she reportedly plans to appeal the ruling. despite her sizable award, shackelford insists it was never about the money, it was about sending a message. >> as long as a couple is still living together as man and wife, still in the same home, the same bedroom, the same bed, lay off. >>eporter: that north carolina law also works for wronged husbands. in 2001 a man was awarded $500,000 because his wife had an affair. diana alvear, abc news, chicago. >> the woman who sued says that before the mistress came along, there was no marital problem in the household. now, the mistress' attorney is of course denying that, saying there was problems long before the mistress came along.
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